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WCSD campus locked down

Whitehall High School, middle school and elementary schools were locked down Tuesday morning for just over two hours.

The lockdown resulted when a dozen township police officers responded to two separate incidents – one involving a student threatening another student and the other involving a threat in connection with the Mayan doomsday prediction that Friday would be the end of the world.

The Whitehall Township municipal building, located less than a mile from the WCSD campus, was also ordered to lock down on direction from Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. The mayor said it was a prudent measure to take to preserve the safety of employees because of its close proximity to the schools.

"It was a good drill," Hozza said, in the event something horrid should take place. The lockdown lasted for a few hours.

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting that took place last Friday, Tuesday's incident at the WCSD campus resulted in a heightened concern for the safety of others. Parents called school district officials and others had messages posted on Facebook.

Police Lt. Ribello Bertoni told The Press one high school student was arrested.

"The student was charged with terroristic threats and placed and taken to the [Lehigh County] juvenile detention center," said Bertoni. The police lieutenant further said a high-school guidance counselor overheard the student threatening another student. A township police officer, stationed at the high school as a school resource officer, summoned police to the scene.

Bertoni said the 12-officer compliment did not involve the SWAT team. The youth was already in the office when police arrived and was quickly taken to the nearby police station while his locker was searched. No weapons were found.

The second incident, according to Bertoni, resulted from a mother calling to inform authorities that her son had referred to a threat that would be carried out on Friday. The mother called the school stating her son heard students threatening others, Bertoni said. The woman and the students were interviewed, and the story was not found to be credible. The 8:30 a.m lock down was lifted at 10:49 a.m.

"It [Tuesday] was a crazy, crazy day, going on into the evening. Wednesday [yesterday] should be quieter," Bertoni said.